Tuesday, July 05, 2005

AIDS Drugs

"In previous negotiations, we managed to get the prices of these drugs reduced, but now we want to lower the costs even further". This was the statement issued by Dr. Paulo Roberto Teixeira who is Director of the Brazilian National STD/AIDS Programme. As a result, Brazil is preparing to allow its scientists to steal several pharmaceutical patents and produce their own versions of AIDS drugs developed by U.S. companies. Brazil has the 11th ranking economy in the world and yet it believes that other nations or companies therein owe it a medical version of the free lunch. Washington has no general duty to protect the profits of U.S. firms operating overseas, but we should seriously consider sanctions and other measures to prevent Brazil and other countries from developing and exporting generic substitutes which could destroy pharmaceutical innovation.

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